I’ve been rather anxious about our packing plan… we intend only to take two bags for the five of us. The reason for the minimalism is because of the lack of hands:children ratio. Our children are of an age where we need to hold their hands while manoeuvring through busy airports, on buses and so on. It’s tricky trying to look for signs of where to go, keeping an eye on the baggage for safety and watching the children all at once. In fact, as we recently discovered in Gatwick, it’s near on impossible.
So for that reason we are limiting ourselves to two bags. With Orla in the ergo on my back that leaves one hand per boy. Trolleys don’t help much as they still take up two hands and are only effective inside the Airport.
Some friends came over on Sunday and I showed them the two bags we were taking… I saw them wince. “For all five of you?” they tentatively questioned. “Yes, that’s it for all five of us” I confidently chimed. Inside my confidence was slipping, it had reached my knees…
So the afternoon was spent packing. A trial run. Into one bag went all the kit, binoculars, scope, camera (with new super zoom lens), animal and bird id books, tracking book, map of America, laptops with power leads, bat detector, bushcraft and camping items, first aid kit and head torches. Into the other went the five stuff sacks with the clothes. Rob’s is biggest, then mine and the three kids have smaller ones, one wash bag for us all and our travel towels. Into our various little hand luggage bags went the activity books and cards, iPods, and other little items of amusement for the car and plane. Nappies and wipes will have to go in there too.
My confidence is happily reinstated as we comfortably fit everything we need into our two bags and actually had quite a lot of room for all sorts of extra last minute essentials. They even came in just under the allowed weight.
It’s one month today until we flight to New York but it’s less than three weeks until we leave our rooted home here in Cornwall and begin our adventure… travelling light!
We’ve got two children (6 and 11) who we will be travelling with soon RTW so we’ve also been considering our luggage options. We’ve settled on 2 backpacks, (smaller daypacks strap on top of these) plus two rolling soft bags (paklite) leaving us both a free hand. The kids will be carrying their own small backpacks for toys / books / ipods etc. I am very worried about taking so much luggage, (so I admire your efficient packing!) but hopefully with our plans for slow travel, I won’t have to be a ‘pack-donkey’ too often!
Fantastic! Your kids are a good age to be able to manage some stuff themselves and you’re unlikely to need to carry them. We need to be able to carry Orla on our backs and then at times carry Patrick for speed so it rules out the back pack option for us.
I think learning to live with less is a definite goal for us and doing the laundry regularly is part of the whole thing really. Once we have our hire car in the States, which we’ll keep for 6 months, we can increase our wardrobes at charity shops and Walmarts etc. But when you’re moving between different climates so rapidly you can’t pack for everything anyway, so pack for the first stop and then adapt along the way. The base layers the kids have are probably the most versatile items as they add warms in cold regions can be worn on their own in warmer climates and make great PJs too! Definitely a good investment.